Colors of Blue and Gold


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Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #96 on: January 13, 2023, 06:58:22 PM »

Many Ukrainians oppose the war. Not all Ukrainians support the Zelensky government. Not all have been willing to fight against Russia.

Can you name any nation is history where:
* All supported the war?
* All supported the government?
* All were willing to fight against the invader?

I didn't think so.

It's a young nation that experienced an eight year civil war before Russia's 2022 invasion.

It's an old people, with their own language, their own culture. This isn't a land that has been a part of Russia since time immemorial. It's only been ruled by Russia for about 250 years. It was taken over by Katherine the Great. And Katherine the Great was not really all that great. And it's been downhill ever since. Not ruled well. Ruled badly, at times absurdly badly. The Ukrainian famine of the early 1930's which killed millions. Making a pact with Nazi Germany, which, as a result of this pact, and Hitler double crossing Stalin at an opportune moment, resulted in Ukraine being overrun and millions more of it's people killed. Worse than absurdly bad.

As for morale, it's a mistake to assume that morale isn't high on the Russian side as well. Soldiers on both sides believe they're fighting for a good cause (however misguided the Russian soldiers may be).

Clearly not too high on the Russian side. No flocks of hundreds of thousands volunteering for the army. But with flocks of hundreds of thousands of young men fleeing the country. There best units are convicts who have no choice. An army consisting of "The Dirty Dozen" may work in movies but not so in real life.

"Russian mobilization has worked," he maintained. "It is not true that their problems are so dire that these people will not fight. They will. A tsar tells them to go to war, and they go to war. I've studied the history of the two Chechen wars — it was the same. They may not be that well equipped, but they still present a problem for us." - Head of Ukraine's military
https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraines-top-general-no-doubt-russia-will-try-again-kyiv-2022-12

If all Russian mobilization can do is result in the capture of Bakhmut and Soledar, before the Russian army suffers the sort of summertime disasters it suffered last September, then the mobilization worked, just not worked very well. We shall see.

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #96 on: January 13, 2023, 06:58:22 PM »


Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #97 on: January 13, 2023, 08:07:51 PM »
Can you name any nation is history where:
* All supported the war?
* All supported the government?
* All were willing to fight against the invader?

I didn't think so.

Of course but your comment implied that Ukraine has no problems with morale or dissent. Which is verifiably false.

There's no question that rallying your country against an invading army is easier than rallying your countrymen to invade a foreign country. But Ukraine is a relatively young country with deep political divisions (just like the US during our wars against the British) so it's not reasonable to assume that they're not having any difficulties in getting men to fight or political divisions still. 
 

Clearly not too high on the Russian side. No flocks of hundreds of thousands volunteering for the army. But with flocks of hundreds of thousands of young men fleeing the country. There best units are convicts who have no choice. An army consisting of "The Dirty Dozen" may work in movies but not so in real life.

The commander of Ukraine's armed forces disagrees with your assumptions.

Given his age, I assume he began his military career in the Soviet army and knows some of Russia's military leaders.


If all Russian mobilization can do is result in the capture of Bakhmut and Soledar, before the Russian army suffers the sort of summertime disasters it suffered last September, then the mobilization worked, just not worked very well. We shall see.

Soledar and Bakhmut are almost entirely being managed by the Wagner mercenaries. The newly mobilized forces are being used in other parts of the Theater.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 08:08:55 PM by Jon Banks »

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2023, 04:28:29 PM »

Ukraine Could Strike Devastating Blow to Putin as Military Struggles

https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-could-strike-devastating-blow-putin-crimea-1773386



This article makes the case, that holding Crimea will be a challenge for Russia.

Are all parts of Ukraine that Russia holds logistically vulnerable? No. There are three regions of Russia that Ukraine occupies.

Region 1:

The strip of land along the border of Russia, About 250 miles long, 50 to 100 miles wide. No portion of this region is more than 100 miles from Russia.
It also has a lot of Russian separatists who lived their.

This is a near ideal region for an invader to hold. No long exposed supply lines leading to the home country. No major waterways to cross with long vulnerable bridges or ferry routes.

If Russia cannot hold this region, or at least a strip that is 50 miles wide, or 20 miles wide, they would really be in a sorry state indeed.

Region 2:

The strip of land along coast of the Sea of Azov, 250 miles long, 60 to 70 miles wide.

Highly vulnerable. Supply columns have not have up to 50 or 100 miles to travel across Ukrainian territory, but up to 250 miles. If this is cut in a couple of places, requiring an advance of just 70 miles, it provides a dangerous trap. With the world's most shallow sea to their back, no evacuation is practicable. The Russia fleet could not help.

Region 3:

Crimea.

If Region 2 is taken, the Crimea Land Bridge, Crimea becomes very vulnerable. All that is needed is a precision missile strike from the north shore of the Azov Sea to take out that bridge. Crimea would be far more cut of than Kherson was three months ago. Not a relatively narrow river with many crossing point, but a wide sea several miles long to cross.

The far more competent Russian army of 1942 was unable to hold Crimea against a German offensive that was, at the time, starting to near it's limits of logistical support. Nor were the Germans able able to hold Crimea once the Russians isolated it in 1944. The Crimea is a classic trap for any defensive army trying to hold it.

Logistics is critical in war. It dictates that Russia should be able to hold Region 1, or at least part of it. But unless they start showing a lot more competence next year, with their new amateur conscript and convict army, than the professional army did last year, I don't think they can hold Regions 2 or 3. We shall see.

This is why President Zelenskyy has made Crimea an objective that Ukraine insists on having before there can be peace. He has good reason to believe that they can take it.

Your average Russian, at least a year ago, didn't know much about Kherson, or Bukhmut, let along Soledar. But they do know about Crimea, the Siege of Sevastopol, the great Russian naval base there, the triumph of Yalta. Putin's hold of power will not survive the lose of Crimea. But until it falls, he's safe. His potential successors want the fall of Crimea to happen under Putin's watch, not theirs.

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2023, 04:28:29 PM »


Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #99 on: January 15, 2023, 05:29:27 PM »
Meanwhile, here in reality, Ukraine may be on the verge of retreating from Bakhmut within the next few days or weeks. And they’re not even fighting the actual Russian army. Russian mercenaries are doing most of the work in Soledar and Bakhmut.

I stand by my view that Ukraine will not militarily defeat Russia. It’s just too difficult a task for them to do alone. Yes, I know we’re giving them a ton of aid but short of the US or NATO intervening directly in the war, I don’t see how Ukraine overcomes the huge odds that are against them.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #100 on: January 15, 2023, 05:29:56 PM »
Ukraine Could Strike Devastating Blow to Putin as Military Struggles

https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-could-strike-devastating-blow-putin-crimea-1773386



This article makes the case, that holding Crimea will be a challenge for Russia.

Are all parts of Ukraine that Russia holds logistically vulnerable? No. There are three regions of Russia that Ukraine occupies.

Region 1:

The strip of land along the border of Russia, About 250 miles long, 50 to 100 miles wide. No portion of this region is more than 100 miles from Russia.
It also has a lot of Russian separatists who lived their.

This is a near ideal region for an invader to hold. No long exposed supply lines leading to the home country. No major waterways to cross with long vulnerable bridges or ferry routes.

If Russia cannot hold this region, or at least a strip that is 50 miles wide, or 20 miles wide, they would really be in a sorry state indeed.

Region 2:

The strip of land along coast of the Sea of Azov, 250 miles long, 60 to 70 miles wide.

Highly vulnerable. Supply columns have not have up to 50 or 100 miles to travel across Ukrainian territory, but up to 250 miles. If this is cut in a couple of places, requiring an advance of just 70 miles, it provides a dangerous trap. With the world's most shallow sea to their back, no evacuation is practicable. The Russia fleet could not help.

Region 3:

Crimea.

If Region 2 is taken, the Crimea Land Bridge, Crimea becomes very vulnerable. All that is needed is a precision missile strike from the north shore of the Azov Sea to take out that bridge. Crimea would be far more cut of than Kherson was three months ago. Not a relatively narrow river with many crossing point, but a wide sea several miles long to cross.

The far more competent Russian army of 1942 was unable to hold Crimea against a German offensive that was, at the time, starting to near it's limits of logistical support. Nor were the Germans able able to hold Crimea once the Russians isolated it in 1944. The Crimea is a classic trap for any defensive army trying to hold it.

Logistics is critical in war. It dictates that Russia should be able to hold Region 1, or at least part of it. But unless they start showing a lot more competence next year, with their new amateur conscript and convict army, than the professional army did last year, I don't think they can hold Regions 2 or 3. We shall see.

This is why President Zelenskyy has made Crimea an objective that Ukraine insists on having before there can be peace. He has good reason to believe that they can take it.

Your average Russian, at least a year ago, didn't know much about Kherson, or Bukhmut, let along Soledar. But they do know about Crimea, the Siege of Sevastopol, the great Russian naval base there, the triumph of Yalta. Putin's hold of power will not survive the lose of Crimea. But until it falls, he's safe. His potential successors want the fall of Crimea to happen under Putin's watch, not theirs.
I tend to lean towards this view which is part repeats some of what you wrote:  "The War in Ukraine Will Be Long. Is the West Ready?"

Shorter, who can last longer? Putin or the West? As the saying goes, "Armies don't fight wars; nations fight wars." That is to say wars are determined by the willingness of the people to support and sacrifice for it. My guess is that the average Russian - those outside the cities/urban areas - still support the effort. They believe Russian propaganda - this is a war of the Motherland against fascist enemies. There's a long storied history of Russian antipathy towards the West, a sense of encirclement, of victimization. It predates the 1917 Revolution. How long will that support last?

link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-war-long-west-ready-11673571215

« Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 07:42:33 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #101 on: January 15, 2023, 07:23:00 PM »
Meanwhile, here in reality, Ukraine may be on the verge of retreating from Bakhmut within the next few days or weeks. And they’re not even fighting the actual Russian army. Russian mercenaries are doing most of the work in Soledar and Bakhmut.

I stand by my view that Ukraine will not militarily defeat Russia. It’s just too difficult a task for them to do alone. Yes, I know we’re giving them a ton of aid but short of the US or NATO intervening directly in the war, I don’t see how Ukraine overcomes the huge odds that are against them.

It is impossible for Ukraine to militarily defeat Russia.  Even with unlimited US military assistance.  They are never going to have the capability to invade Russia and drive on to Moscow which is what it would take to force a military end to the conflict.  The Nazis could not do it and Napoleon could not do it.  At best, they can fight a Viet Cong style guerilla war to bleed the Russians dry until the political will to continue the war in Moscow comes to an end.  The Russians are not like the US, though.  They are not subject to the same media scrutiny and public pressures to end wars.  If Putin wants to stick it out, it will continue.   That means years of war until Ukraine is a pile of rubble.  The US will get in deeper and deeper as we did in Vietnam.  Once political capital has been invested in a cause, it becomes increasingly difficult for the politicians to admit a mistake.  You can't sink billions or trillions into places like the Vietnam and Afghanistan promising victory only to say it was all a mistake predicated on a lot of lies.  So it will go on and on.  More money, deaths, destruction, US advisors (who are likely already on the ground). 

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #101 on: January 15, 2023, 07:23:00 PM »


Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #102 on: January 15, 2023, 08:40:34 PM »

Meanwhile, here in reality, Ukraine may be on the verge of retreating from Bakhmut within the next few days or weeks. . . .

Ukraine will lose Bakhmut? Ukraine will lose Bakhmut? Dear God, I hope not.

Who cares? Russian is petering out. No town of 10,000 or 3,000 taken after months and months of trying. Nothing to remotely match the Ukrainian successes, who have already taken back thousands of square miles of territory, and half of the land lost since February 2022. In the meantime, the Russians can't take a single town of 10,000 or 3,000, even with the help of the dirty 12,000. Not too many Charles Bronson's in that Wagner Group. Maybe a few Telly Savalas's, at best.

Look at a map. Look at how much territory Ukraine has taken back. Look at the pitiful thin slices of territory the Russians have taken back in the great Bahkmut and Soledar offenses.

. . . And they’re not even fighting the actual Russian army. Russian mercenaries are doing most of the work in Soledar and Bakhmut.

They're not even fighting the actual Russian army because the Russian army doesn't have enough will left for more than a small fraction of it to continue offensive operations. They Russian's aren't withholding the Russian army because it would be too one sided. "Let's give the Ukrainians a break and see if they can even beat our worst". It's because these convicts, with no real choice except to stay in prison or join up, and now no real choice except likely get killed or definitely get killed if they refuse, are the best option the Russian's have. The Russian training personal, can't be used to train the new Russian recruits, because they are needed just to hold the line. Those who haven't been killed already. The Russians are reduced to using the Belorussian army to do what training they receive, even though a year ago, the Russians considered the Belorussian army, and trainers, inferior to the Russian ones. Right now, Wagner is the best they got. And they are only capable of taking a pitiful amount of ground at great casualties.

In the meantime, thousands of veteran Ukraine troops have been sent outside the country to receive NATO training, far superior to anything the Russians have or ever had. Not just in how to use the NATO equipment they will be using for the first time, but to learn basic combined arms tactics, which the Ukrainians generally have not been trained in and the Russians definitely have not been trained in. That will make a difference.

I stand by my view that Ukraine will not militarily defeat Russia. It’s just too difficult a task for them to do alone. Yes, I know we’re giving them a ton of aid but short of the US or NATO intervening directly in the war, I don’t see how Ukraine overcomes the huge odds that are against them.

I stand by my view. Ukrainians will continue to do what they have been doing since summer. Beat the Russians. And for the Russians, it's going to get worse before it gets even worse.

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #103 on: January 15, 2023, 09:02:27 PM »

I tend to lean towards this view which is part repeats some of what you wrote:  "The War in Ukraine Will Be Long. Is the West Ready?"

Shorter, who can last longer? Putin or the West? As the saying goes, "Armies don't fight wars; nations fight wars." That is to say wars are determined by the willingness of the people to support and sacrifice for it. My guess is that the average Russian - those outside the cities/urban areas - still support the effort. They believe Russian propaganda - this is a war of the Motherland against fascist enemies. There's a long storied history of Russian antipathy towards the West, a sense of encirclement, of victimization. It predates the 1917 Revolution. How long will that support last?

link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-war-long-west-ready-11673571215

I tend to lean towards that view as well. The weak link is not in Ukrainian will. Or Poland's will to continue support. Or Germany's will to continue support. It is in America's will to continue to support. But while this is the weakest link, I am confident it will hold firm for at least a year, or several years if need be. Even the Republicans have strong support for Ukraine. Only the most extreme MAGA fanatics in Congress are arguing that we should drop support for them.

And why do any Americans feel reluctant? For a fraction of our yearly defense spending, we can save Europe. Because if we can't hold territory with everything going our way, the Russians will think they are unbeatable. The same Americans who feel no loyalty to European democracy feel no loyalty to American democracy. Probably not a coincidence.

Ukraine needs to take Crimea this summer. That will:

1. Be terrible for Russian morale.

2. Secure southern Ukraine, secure Odessa, secure Ukraine's access to the sea for vital grain exports.

Without Crimea, Ukraine existence will always be perilous. The thin strip of territory bordering Russia in the far east is much less important. And, for now, a much harder nut to crack. Go south brave country, go south.

JFK Assassination Forum

Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #103 on: January 15, 2023, 09:02:27 PM »


 

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